Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

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A Cornerstone of Grace

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” Matthew 21:42–43

The most amazing thing that has ever happened in this world is the death of the Son of God. It is amazing for many reasons. It’s amazing that God the Father allowed His Son to be brutally murdered by evil men. It’s amazing that the Son did not call upon the myriad of angels to stop His persecution. It’s amazing that Jesus spoke words of forgiveness from the Cross as His own mother looked on. But perhaps the most amazing aspect about this event is that from it, the gift of eternal salvation was made possible.

Only God, in His inconceivable wisdom and power, could bring forth the greatest good from the greatest evil. Nothing could be more evil than the brutal murder of the Son of God. And nothing could be more glorious than the transformation of that heinous act into the definitive act of salvation for the human race. Jesus was “the stone rejected by the builders.” But that rejected Stone was used by the Father to “become the cornerstone” of the new life of grace to which we are called.

The passage quoted above concludes the Parable of the Tenants, which outlines salvation history. The Father is the owner of the vineyard, which represents the people of Israel. The tenants were the religious leaders of the time who abused the prophets who were sent to gather the fruit of God’s Kingdom. The son is the Son of God whom the leaders of Israel killed under the misconception that killing Jesus would guarantee the continuation of their power. However, the true result was that they suffered their own destruction, and the murdered Son became the cornerstone of the Church and the source of new life.

Today, you are among the people to whom God has given charge of His new Vineyard, the Church. Of you, God demands an abundance of good fruit. Though the Church is entrusted to the pope, bishops and priests in a special way, it is also entrusted to the laity, each in their own way. Everyone must bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, and everyone will be held accountable for their stewardship.

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have little to offer. If we were the pope, a bishop or even a priest, we could do great things for God. And though that is true, it is no less true that everyone is capable of bearing an abundance of good fruit for the Kingdom. And God expects that of us all. If you doubt that fact in any way, recall again the undeniable fact that the Father used the greatest evil ever committed to bring forth the greatest good ever known. If God can bring forth new life from death, then He can certainly use you in powerful ways. In fact, the weaker you are and the more insignificant you feel, the more God can use you to produce good fruit.

Reflect, today, upon the glorious fact that if God can use his own suffering and death to bring salvation to the world, He can also use you in ways that are beyond your imagination. You might not become a famous evangelist. You might not succeed in some well-recognized ministry. In fact, you might even encounter much suffering, persecution, and hardship throughout life. Regardless of your own life situation, God desires to use you for great things and to bear an abundance of good fruit for His Kingdom. Commit to that mission, and allow God to use you as a cornerstone of His grace in this world.

My Lord and Cornerstone of the Church, You were rejected by the leaders of Israel and were killed in the most horrific way. Yet in Your glorious power, You transformed that evil into the greatest good. I give to You my weaknesses and pains, my talents and labors; I give to You my entire life. Please use me and help me to share in Your life so that, with You, I may also become a cornerstone of Your grace as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.

Authentic Love

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. Mark 10:2

The Pharisees were not interested in the deepest truths of God. They were only interested in twisting God’s truths in an attempt to prove their own self-righteousness. The question they posed to Jesus was a trap, but Jesus doesn’t fall into it. He asks them what Moses taught about the love in marriage and then explains that their understanding of Moses’ teaching was based on the hardness of their hearts and not the original intent of God as was revealed in the beginning.

Our Church’s teaching regarding the indissolubility of marriage flows from the teachings found in the Book of Genesis, subsequently confirmed and clarified by Jesus in today’s Gospel. When a true marriage bond is established by the free and total consent of a man and woman, that bond can only be separated by death.

From a much broader perspective, the marriage bond of which Jesus speaks also reveals to us the depth of commitment that God has made to each one of us and the reciprocal commitment He invites us to make. God’s covenant offered to us is freely given, total, and irrevocable. This is important to understand. God will never change His mind when it comes to the commitment He has made to each one of us. For our part, we must continuously seek to reciprocate that commitment by giving ourselves to the will of God in the same way.

Though much more could be said about this exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees regarding earthly marriage, we must also see in this exchange a common trap that we will encounter in our marital covenant with God and our love of others. Just as the Pharisees used the law of marriage to try to trap Jesus in His speech, caring nothing about the deeper truths that this teaching revealed, we can also use the Law of God in a way that reveals our own hardness of heart. Love, be it that of marriage or the love that is the basis of our union with God, can easily be used as a weapon rather than a source of unity. Regarding others, we can easily fall into the trap of using the precepts of love as a source of manipulation and persuasion. “If you loved me, then you would…” Regarding our love of God, we can often reduce our love into a reluctant following of God’s most basic laws, such as “I have to go to church.”

If love is to be pure and holy, it must rise above erroneous interpretations of love and be lived in the way it was intended to be lived. Pure love is always self-giving. It is sacrificial. It always looks to the good of the other. Love is total and must be irrevocable. Love forges a bond that should never be broken. It must endure everything and is possible only when it is grounded in the love that God has for us.

Reflect, today, upon the way that you love. Does the hardness of your heart lead you to misrepresent the love God wants you to share with others? Do you minimize the requirements of love? Is your love total, irrevocable, and freely given? Is your love self-seeking or self-giving? Reflect upon the pure and holy nature of the love God has offered to you, and recommit yourself to offer this same depth of love to God and to others so that the covenants that result from your love will always endure.

Lord of the Covenant, Your love is perfect. It is pure, it is selfless, self-giving, total and irrevocable. Please help me to love You with this same love so that I can share in the divine marriage covenant to which I am called. May this holy love also overflow into every relationship so that You will be the foundation of those holy bonds. Jesus, I trust in You.

Nourished by Faith

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5–6

Is it possible to completely uproot a tree and plant it in the sea? It’s certainly hard to imagine how. It is especially hard to imagine doing so with a simple command of faith. Uprooting a tree is hard enough to imagine, but it is even more difficult to imagine a tree being planted in the sea. Though water is necessary, one cannot plant a tree in the sea and expect it to grow. But that’s partly the point. We often underestimate the power of true faith. Saint Matthew’s Gospel says that faith can move mountains. Saint Luke’s says it can uproot a tree and replant it in the sea. All it takes to do so is faith the size of a mustard seed.

How much faith is equal to a mustard seed? A mustard seed is small, very small. It measures only about one millimeter in length. People who worked the soil at that time would have known that it was among the smallest of seeds they planted. For that reason, Jesus uses this familiar image to teach the apostles that faith, even a little faith, is powerful.

Jesus’ teaching comes in response to a prayer on the part of the apostles. “Increase our faith,” they said. Jesus’ response, inviting them to have only a little faith, implies that their faith was quite weak. To increase their faith to the size of a mustard seed suggests that they did not even have a little faith yet. Most likely they were aware of that fact, and that was the reason they asked Jesus to increase their faith. They perceived their lacking and turned to Him Who could help.

One of the first steps to increasing faith is to humbly admit our lack of faith. In our pride, we often want to convince ourselves and others that we are filled with faith. But if that were the case, God would be doing incredible things through us. He would be doing that which is otherwise humanly impossible.

Obviously, faith does not give us magical powers by which we can literally command a tree to uproot itself and plant itself in the sea. This imagery is meant to tell us that faith will work miracles of faith, not necessarily physical miracles. In fact, if God ever did use us and our faith to work a physical miracle, it would only happen because it was a motivation for the far more important gift of the increase of faith.

What, then, can a little faith do? It can uproot sin from your heart and from the hearts of those around you. It can nourish you and others in ways that seem impossible. Just as a tree cannot normally be planted in the sea and survive, the gift of faith, even a little faith, will enable the soul to be nourished and strengthened in ways that otherwise seem impossible. A martyr perfectly illustrates this fact. Normally, persecution and death are not considered to be nourishing to a person. But when a person has faith and suffers martyrdom on account of Christ, then their soul will be fed by the persecution itself. And that is among the greatest of miracles possible. Suffering, persecution, illness, poverty, and every other difficulty imaginable are transformed by God into a source of nourishment when we endure them with true faith.

Reflect, today, upon the prayer of the apostles: “Increase our faith.” Some of the greatest mystics taught that faith darkens the intellect. By this darkening, they mean that, by faith, God will lead us into the unknown, on a path that He alone is aware of. We will become instruments of His transforming grace in ways that are completely beyond our natural abilities. Pray for an increase of faith. When our Lord hears your humble prayer, by which you also confess your lack of faith, He will increase that faith, uproot sin and evil, and plant your soul in places in which you become nourished in ways that you could have never imagined possible.

Most glorious Lord, Increase my faith. Give me a pure faith—a faith that enables You to lead me down the unknown path to Your glory. With this gift of faith, please use me to bring forth Your miraculous power by which sin is uprooted and souls are nourished by You alone. Jesus, I trust in You.

Openness to the Gospel

Monday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25

The question is very good. We should all seek to understand, with all our hearts, what we must do to inherit eternal life. Of course the problem is that this scholar of the law did not ask this question with sincerity and openness. Rather, he asked Jesus this question to test our Lord. This scholar, as well as other scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and elders, was envious of Jesus and sought to find fault with Him. This scholar appeared to be concerned that Jesus was teaching contrary to the Law of Moses. But what does our Lord do? He says nothing more than to put the question back to the scholar, asking him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The scholar answers correctly, according to the Law of Moses, and Jesus responds to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Thus, the test was passed.

What’s interesting and helpful to ponder in this exchange is the way Jesus responds to this scholar. Because Jesus knew the scholar’s heart, and because He knew that this scholar was not asking with humility and openness, Jesus responded with great prudence, inviting the scholar of the law himself to answer his own question. Though we are not able to read another’s heart in the way our Lord did, we should learn a lesson from Him on how to respond to others who have as their goal to trick, trap, test, and twist our words if they disagree with us. This is especially important in matters of faith and morality. If you are striving to live the Gospel with all your heart and you encounter the “testing” of others as a result of the holy life you are striving for, ponder Jesus’ actions here. Too often, when another challenges us or tests us, we become defensive and even offended. As a result, we can enter into arguments back and forth that bear little or no fruit. Jesus did not argue. He did not allow this test to trip Him up. Rather, He only offered responses that could not be doubted. Jesus knew that this scholar was not interested in the deepest spiritual truths. He was only interested in finding fault. Therefore, the deeper and fuller Gospel message could not be offered.

We should also learn from this passage the importance of coming to Jesus with an open heart, sincerely seeking the deepest spiritual answers to life. We ought never test Jesus. Instead, in humility, we must believe that He is the source of all truth and that He has every answer in life that we seek.

Reflect, today, upon two things. First, reflect upon how completely open you are to all that Jesus has to say. If you were to ask our Lord this question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?,” what would Jesus say to you? Would He only be able to offer you general answers in the form of questions? Or would Jesus see the open and sincere nature of your heart and be able to speak in great depth and detail to you? Second, reflect upon anyone with whom you constantly have to defend yourself for the practice of your faith. If this is your experience, perhaps reexamine your approach, realizing that the deepest pearls of your faith should only be shared with those who are sincerely open and are seeking to embrace them with all their heart.

My deep and wise Lord, You and You alone have every answer to life. You and You alone can reveal to me all that I need to know in life so as to achieve holiness and fulfillment. Please open my heart so that I can come to You with humility and sincerity, open to all that You wish to reveal to me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Fidelity to Daily Prayer

Tuesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  Luke 10:40–42

In many ways, this statement of our Lord summarizes the most important and central message of the Gospel. We are all called to choose “the better part” every day.

Jesus was close friends with Martha, Mary and Lazarus. He frequently visited their home, which was only a short distance from Jerusalem. On this occasion, when Jesus was visiting their home, one of these siblings, Mary, had placed herself at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him and conversing with Him. Martha was busy with the important details of hospitality and appeared to be upset with Mary, so she confronted Jesus, asking Him to tell Mary to help her. But in so doing, she was also unknowingly trying to dissuade Mary from the most important purpose of her life.

As Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, she gave us an example of the most important focus we must have in life. Though our days will be filled with many necessary duties, such as cooking, cleaning, working, entertainment, and caring for others, we must never forget that which we were made for and that which we will be doing for all eternity: adoration of our glorious God.

Consider all that occupies your day. Though most of what you do may be important, do you daily take time out to adore our Lord, listen to Him and glorify Him through your prayer? We can often make time for many other important duties in life, as well as those that are not so important. We may spend hours on chores, immerse ourselves in movies, devote whole evenings to reading, fulfill our duties in the workplace, but only devote a minute or two each day, if even that, to silent prayer and adoration of our God!

What would happen to your life if you chose “the better part” for a full hour every day? What if you decided that the first hour of your day would be dedicated to an imitation of Mary in the Gospel passage and that you would do nothing but adore Jesus through silent prayer and meditation? At first, you may think of the many other tasks you could be doing at that moment. You may decide that you do not have the time for extended prayer every day. But is that true? Perhaps you are actually being Martha to yourself, saying to yourself that you should do more important things with your time and that Jesus will understand if you do not spend time with Him alone in adoration and prayer every day. If that is you, then be very attentive to this Gospel passage. In many ways, Jesus deeply desires to say this about you. He wants to say of you that you have chosen the better part for an extended period of time every day and that this will not be taken from you.

Reflect, today, upon that which is most important in life. Dispel excuses and temptations to simply fulfill all the other important duties of life, neglecting that which is most important. Reflect upon the simple truth that Jesus does want you to devote much time to Him every day for silent prayer and adoration. Do not give into excuses and distractions. Commit yourself to remain at the feet of Jesus, adoring Him, listening to Him and loving Him. If you do, you will find that your life is more ordered and that the time you spend in prayer bears more good fruit than every other important duty you fulfill every day.

My inviting Lord, I do believe that adoration of You in silent and devout prayer is the most important duty I have to fulfill every day. May I never be deterred from adoring You every day, devoting as much time as You desire to silent and loving prayer. May I discover this gift of prayer, dear Lord, and sit at Your feet with Mary and with all the glorious saints. Jesus, I trust in You.

The Perfect Prayer

Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

What a great prayer for us to pray also, “Lord, teach us to pray…” Jesus’ response to this disciple was to present him with the “Our Father” prayer. Of this prayer, Saint Andre Bessette said, “When you say the Our Father, God’s ear is next to your lips.” The great mystical Doctor of the Church Saint Teresa of Ávila gave this advice while praying the Lord’s Prayer: “Much more is accomplished by a single word of the Our Father said, now and then, from our heart, than by the whole prayer repeated many times in haste and without attention.” And Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said that the “Our Father” prayer was one of the prayers she prayed when she felt so spiritually barren that she could not summon up a single worthwhile thought.

At the Holy Mass, when the priest invites the people of God to pray the “Our Father,” he says, in part, that this prayer is one that “…we dare to say.” This is an interesting statement which especially reveals the childlike boldness we are called to have as we pray this prayer sincerely from the heart. It is exceptionally bold to call God our “Father.”

Chapter 11 of My Catholic Worship, which offers a teaching on this perfect prayer, states the following about this boldness:

Each Christian is to see the Father as my Father.  We must see ourselves as God’s children and approach Him with the confidence of a child.  A child with a loving parent is not afraid of that parent.  Rather, children have the greatest trust that their parents love them no matter what.  Even when they sin, children know they are still loved.  This must be our fundamental starting point for all prayer.  We must start with an understanding that God loves us no matter what.  With this understanding of God, we will have all the confidence we need to call on Him.

Since many of us are very familiar with this ideal prayer taught to us by our Lord Himself, there is a temptation to pray this prayer in a somewhat rote way. We can easily fail to say it from the depths of our hearts, making each word our own, offered with the utmost confidence to our loving Father in Heaven.

How do you pray the Lord’s Prayer? Do you pray it out of habit, failing to fully comprehend and mean the words you pray? Most likely this is the case for many.

Reflect, today, upon this most holy prayer given to us by the Son of God Himself. He is the author of this perfect prayer, so we should use it as the foundation of all of our prayer. Try to follow the advice of Saint Teresa of Ávila quoted above. Take each word of that prayer and pray it slowly, intentionally and with love. Begin by acknowledging God as your Father. Ponder the infinite care He has for you as a perfect father would. See Him in a real, intimate, and personal way. This perfect prayer begins by acknowledging Who God is and then continues with seven perfect petitions. After praying the introduction to this prayer, pick one of the seven petitions to meditate upon so that the richness of this prayer will have a transformative effect upon your soul.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Praying with Fervor and Detachment

Thursday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him…’” Luke 11:5–6

Unless your friend were truly a very close friend, you may hesitate in waking them and their family at midnight to ask to borrow some food. And even if it were a very close friend, you would probably hesitate for fear of disturbing them. But in this parable, the “friend” is God. Jesus just finished giving His disciples the “Our Father” prayer, and now He adds this parable as a way of expressing the great confidence and determination with which we must pray to the Father. The parable concludes by stating that even if the person in bed does not get up to meet the request, they will do so “because of his persistence.” And though God always is attentive to our prayer, our persistence is an essential quality we must have.

When we pray to God with persistence, never doubting the goodness and generosity of God, God will pour forth upon us everything that is good. Of course, if our prayer is for something that is selfish or not in accord with the will of God, then all the begging in the world will not be effective. But when we pray as the “Our Father” prayer teaches us, then we can be certain that our fidelity to that prayer, prayed with the utmost trust and persistence, will effect the good gifts of the will of God in our lives.

One of the seven petitions of the “Our Father” prayer is “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is a truly beautiful petition that requires not only ongoing persistence but also detachment from our preference in life. To pray that “God’s” will be done and that “His” Kingdom come is a way of also saying that you surrender all of your preferences to God. You come to God acknowledging that your will may not be God’s will. Thus, this petition expresses detachment in a powerful way.

Reflect, today, upon the importance of praying with the utmost fervor and persistence to God. Reflect, also, upon the importance of doing so with detachment. What does God want of you? What is His holy will for your life? Seek that will and that will alone with all your heart and you will discover that His will truly will come to be in your life.

My perfect Lord, Your will and Your will alone is what I want and seek. I seek it with all the powers of my soul. Help me to grow in confidence in You and Your goodness. May I trust in You and believe with all my heart that You truly will bring forth Your holy will in my life if I only persist in prayer and trust. Jesus, I trust in You.

Overcoming “Neutrality”

Friday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Luke 11:23

These words are embedded within several powerful teachings of Jesus, but, in many ways, this single sentence can stand alone as an important Christian truth. Specifically, it tells us that we cannot be neutral in our position regarding Jesus and all that He has taught us. This is an important message in the world today.

Today, there seems to be a growing secular value that we might call “neutrality.” We are told by many in the world that we must accept any morality, any lifestyle, any choice that others make. And though it is true that we must always love and accept every person and treat them with the utmost dignity and respect, it is not true that we should be neutral to the choices and secular values that some choose to live and express. Sadly, when we do speak the full truth, especially the many moral truths our Lord has revealed, we are often labeled as judgmental. But this is not the truth.

This quote above from today’s Gospel makes it clear that we cannot remain indifferent to the teachings of our Lord and still remain in His good graces. In fact, Jesus makes it clear that the opposite is true. He says that if we are not with Him, meaning, if we do not accept all that He has revealed, then we are, in fact, against Him. Being neutral on matters of faith and morality is not actually being neutral at all. It’s a choice that some make that has the clear effect of separating them from Jesus.

For example, regarding matters of faith, if someone were to say, “I do not believe in the Eucharist,” then they are, in fact, rejecting God. And though it is not our duty to be their judge, it is our duty to acknowledge that they have expressed a belief contrary to the truth. They are in error, and if they persist in this error, then they do separate themselves from God. That’s what Jesus is saying.

The same is true regarding morality. There are many examples in the moral life that are becoming more and more blatant in their opposition to our Lord’s teaching. Thus, we must remind ourselves that when we reject a moral teaching given to us by our Lord, we reject Jesus Himself.

Jesus goes even further when He says that “whoever does not gather with me scatters.” In other words, it’s not enough to simply personally believe all that Jesus taught, we must also teach it to others. If we do not and if we, instead, offer a false form of “acceptance” of another’s error, then we are actually working against Jesus. We all have a moral duty to actively promote the truths of the Gospel given to us by our Lord.

Reflect, today, upon how fully you are “with” our Lord and “gather” with Him. Do you fully accept all that He has taught and also seek to gather many others for the Kingdom of God? If you do not see yourself actively believing in and participating in the mission of our Lord, then heed these words of Jesus and allow them to gently but firmly challenge you, so that you will more fully work to build up God’s Kingdom in your own heart and in the world all around you.

My glorious King, You desire to build up Your Kingdom in my life and, through me, in the lives of others. Give me the grace and courage I need to fully accept all that You have taught me and to actively become an instrument of Your grace and truth in the world. May I be with You in all things, dear Lord, and gather many into Your loving arms of grace. Jesus, I trust in You.

Living a Truly Blessed Life

Saturday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  Luke 11:27–28

This short Gospel reading reveals much about what makes one “blessed” in life. Specifically, Jesus considers those truly blessed who do two things: “hear the word of God” and then “observe it.” Though this seems quite obvious at first read, it is often harder than it seems.

The first step to a blessed life is hearing the Word of God. To “hear” implies that we do much more than become familiar with the Gospels. Hearing means we are not only aware of all that our Lord has revealed, it also means that we have truly internalized it, understanding all that our Lord requires of us.

Have you heard our Lord? It’s important to understand that the Gospel is alive. In other words, becoming familiar with the Word of God is not the same as reading some ancient book of lessons. Rather, hearing the Word of God means we hear a Person: the Son of God, speaking to us and guiding us each step of our lives. God’s Word is something that must speak to us every moment of every day, inspiring us to do this and avoid that. It is accomplished through a lifelong habit of prayerful communion with our Lord through which we are attentive to His voice always.

Hearing the very Person of the Son of God, the Word made flesh, necessarily implies that we also observe all that He speaks to us. In fact, failure to follow His continuous and gentle command to love will result in us being unable to clearly hear Him at all. We will become confused and will easily become directed by the many other voices in our world, unable to discern the glorious path chosen for us by our Lord.

Reflect, today, upon whether or not you struggle in any way with both hearing and observing the voice of God. If this is your struggle, then recommit yourself to a time of humble and wholehearted discovery. Tell our Lord that you are sorry for not being attentive to Him and set yourself on a mission to seek and find Him. Reject the confusion and anxiety of life, reject the many other voices of “wisdom” within our world, and listen for His gentle but clear voice. He is always speaking. He is always calling you. He is always present. Open the eyes of your soul and give Him your full attention. And when you sense Him speaking to you, respond with the utmost generosity and obedience. Doing so will result in you discovering what it means to be truly blessed by our Lord.

My blessed Lord, You are glorious beyond all things, and You invite me and all Your creatures to share in Your very life. Give me the grace I need to turn from the confusion and deceptions of life so that I will hear only You and respond only to Your voice. I commit myself to Your holy will, dear Lord. As I do, please bestow upon me every blessing You desire to give. Jesus, I trust in You.

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